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“Occasionally I will leave behind a sentence that I know is missing a word, and I’ll go back to it later. I wrote a sentence like that yesterday. A man is talking about his wife, who’s a singer. She has just woken up in the morning, and he says, ‘Even half asleep like this, she sounded a true, dark note, a thrilling…’ I put in ‘cadence,’ but I know it’s not the right word—so the sentence is just sitting there, waiting for me to find the right, the exact, the only word.”

“The Art of Fiction No. 200,” interviewed by Belinda McKeon, in Issue 188 of The Paris Review, 2009.
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